Does GOP actually want Obama to decrease health care costs?

USA Today reports on a Republican National Committee advertisement that lambastes President Obama for not cutting health care costs. Considering that nobody’s really managed to do that over the last several years, it’s not exactly big news that Obama hasn’t managed the trick, especially considering the health care reform law is just now rolling out. However, the rate of health care spending has slowed recently, even if the recession is a major cause.

Somehow I doubt the GOP is really sincere in its criticism, because the much-maligned Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act actually does have important cost control provisions in it. One example is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which the House voted to repeal today. Republicans don’t like IPAB because it would lead to “rationing” –which is just a pejorative term for health care cost control. They somehow think passing malpractice reform will save an equal amount of money. Very wrong they are on that one.

Another provision requires health insurers to justify rate increases above 10 percent. The capitalist in me doesn’t like this one, but from a practical standpoint it does put pressure on health plans to keep rate rises down to avoid being on the naughty list. They do it by negotiating harder with providers to keep reimbursement under control.

Where are the serious GOP alternatives to the Affordable Care Act?

March 22, 2012

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